Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Symposium #163
CE Offered: BACB
Ethical Provision of Supervision in Applied Behavior Analysis
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Bonham B (Grand Hyatt)
Area: TPC/TBA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Christine Reeve (Nova Southereastern University's Mailman Segal Institute)
CE Instructor: Charles Merbitz, Ph.D.
Abstract: Providing an ABA supervision experience that trains students to be effective and ethical clinical practioners is important to ensure that students’ future clients receive quality services. Furthermore, providing a quality ABA supervision experience is essential for maintaining the field of behavior analysis’s credibility as a scientific discipline dedicated to improving the human condition through evidenced-based practices. While the field of ABA agrees that providing quality ABA supervision experience is essential in training competent and ethical practioners, there is a lack of accepted standards for providing experiences or evaluating student performance in the context of that experience. In response to this need, the ABA supervisors at the Mailman Segal Institute of Nova Southeastern University (NSU) have developed a supervision handbook to provide structure to and a standard of appropriate ABA supervision experiences. The purpose of this symposium is to explore ethical issues encountered when providing supervision in behavior analysis across settings. The talks in this symposium will also review the ABA supervision handbook developed at NSU and assess the degree to which the modules included adequately prepare ABA supervisees to utilize the procedures of ABA skillfully and ethically.
The Ethics of Providing Supervision in Applied Behavior Analysis
CHRISTINE REEVE (Nova Southereastern University's Mailman Segal Institute)
Abstract: The development of the international certification in applied behavior analysis (ABA) has lead to a marked increase in the enrollment in related coursework. This escalating interest in obtaining BCBA and BCaBA certification has in turn led to increased demand for supervised experiences. The area of organized supervision in the field of behavior analysis, outside of academic programs, and the ethical issues involved, is fairly new to most certified professionals. In fact, most certified professional are newly certified, having obtained certification in behavior analysis in the past five years. The rate of professionals becoming certified behavior analysts continues to increase. The growth in this area is expected to continue as ABA is covered by the majority of insurance providers in the field of autism. This presentation will explore common ethical issues encountered in the context of providing supervision to both practicum students and independent fieldwork supervisees across a variety of supervision contexts and environments.
Introduction to the ABA Supervision Handbook
KARLY L. CORDOVA (Nova Southeastern University)
Abstract: An overview of the supervision experience model designed at the Mailman Segal Institute at Nova Southeastern University will be provided. The rationale for and situations that precipitated the development of the model and the creation of the ABA supervision handbook will be discussed. The structure of the model and accompanying handbook will be presented. The ABA supervision handbook houses a series of contracts designed to clarify the roles of all of the participants in the ABA supervision experience. Having clearly defined roles, responsibilities and expectations is a positive practice that helps prevent potential ethical issues from developing and manifesting. Tracking tools are also included in the supervision handbook so that both supervisors and supervisees have the tools to accurately track hours worked, hours spent in direct supervision and module assignments completed. Having an accurate and transparent hour log is crucial for preventing discrepancies and incomplete supervision experiences. Evaluative tools are also included in the handbook, including competency based checklists that allow supervisors to objectively score the performance of supervisees. Ethical issues that arose during the development and implementation of the ABA supervision model will be highlighted with a focus on preventing ethical issues in providing supervision in applied behavior analysis.
The Applied Behavior Analysis Supervision Modules: Structured Experiences, Assignments, and Evaluative Tools
HEATHER O'BRIEN (Nova Southereastern University's Mailman Segal Institute), Karly L. Cordova (Nova Southeastern University)
Abstract: The ABA supervision modules included in the ABA supervision handbook developed at the Mailman Segal Institute of Nova Southeastern Univeristy will be presented. The modules were designed to train supervisees on specific skills from the current Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) task list items. The BACB task list items addressed by each of the modules will be shown. The structure and progression of the modules will be explained. Video footage of ABA supervisees engaging in the modules will be shared to demonstrate how the modules structure and shape the ABA supervision experience for both supervisors and supervisees. The video clips will provide examples of supervisees who are and who are not successful in that moment at implementing a given behavior analytic procedure or combination of procedures. Repair strategies for inadequate supervisee performance will be discussed. Methods and tools for objective evaluation of the performance of the ABA supervisees on the module assignments will be presented. The role of the modules in providing ethical supervision in ABA will be discussed.
An Exploratory Analysis of the Fidelity of the ABA Supervision Handbook
YULEMA CRUZ (Nova Southereastern University's Mailman Segal Institute), Tara M. Sheehan (Nova Southereastern University's Mailman Segal Institute)
Abstract: It is essential to analyze the performance of ABA supervisees to assess if the ABA supervision experience trains supervisees to utilize the procedures of ABA skillfully, appropriately and ethically. Data collected on ABA supervisee performance will be presented to examine if the assignments that comprise the ABA supervision modules adequately prepare ABA supervisees to practice competently. Data collection is ongoing. A baseline of supervisee performance on the skills evaluated using the competency checklists is collected. Following ABA supervision and training, supervisees demonstrate the skill to be evaluated and are again scored using the competency checklists. The data following supervision and training is compared to the baseline data as an index of the efficacy of the supervision model in training competent aspiring behavior analysts. Data collection is also ongoing, assessing the evaluative tools used in the supervision handbook. Data will be shared to explore the degree to which there is clinical validity as well as inter-rater agreement in the clinical competency measures utilized in providing a supervision experience in ABA structured by the supervision handbook developed at the Mailman Segal Institute of Nova Southeastern University.



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